Autumns Eyes - Please Deceive Me
Self-released
Theatrical Horror Metal
10 songs (45:36)
Release year: 2011
Reviewed by Cory

Taking a medium such as horror movies and using it as inspiration for music is nothing new. More than a few artists have drawn creative inspiration from the vivid emotions and responses that good horror elicits in its audience. However doing so while retaining the actual feeling that one gets while watching a movie is quite another deal altogether. Any band can take Dracula and throw metal behind it (see Iced Earth’s excellent Horror Show), but to create a metal album that leans more on the atmospheric side supported by conservative yet accomplished riff work and stellar lyrical content, conveyed in a crisp clean voice that is both soothing and sinister? That is currently the realm of Autumns Eyes, displayed in full with 2011’s Please Deceive Me.

Hailing from Connecticut, Autumns Eyes is the creation of Daniel Mitchell, a fan of horror movies and student of numerous styles of music (not just metal). He has been creating music since 1999, with five full length albums leading up to this release. Unfortunately I am late to this party, and therefore have not listened to any of those albums, but rest assured Please Deceive Me has left me with little doubt where my ears will be devoted to in the coming months. The best way that I can describe the music here is to ask you to imagine a film score laced with distorted guitar, subtle synth effects, fairly aggressive drum work, and a narrator’s approach to the vocals. Daniel has obviously spent a great deal of time focusing on the lyrics (often an afterthought for many bands), and those that pay attention to them will be sucked into an immersive experience. Vocally he reminds me of Fernando Rebeiro (Moonspell) with his clean style and emotive qualities. I find the strongest track on the album to be Blood in the Woods, which plays out exactly like a film in the way it’s story builds up from a calm, melancholy beginning into a crushing riff oriented crescendo. Other notable tracks include opener Ichabod, which is the most straight forward and aggressive song on the album with a galloping riff and extremely catchy chorus. The self-titled track is an ominous tune full of sinister emotion, and So Close To Shadow delivers an industrial vibe that reminded me of Nine Inch Nails (another band that I associate with theatrical qualities in their music). Both Haunting Your Daughter and The Wooded Road deliver on the metal side of the house, with steady riffs and a gothic aggression that brings Paradise Lost to mind.

On the other hand, there were moments when I did not find the music to be quite as engaging. Anxiety Spiders, Pangea, and Red Wine and Resin are all interesting to listen to from a creative standpoint, but held up against the other tracks on the album they become more of an afterthought, probably because they dive further into the theatrical aspect of the album. Each a quality song, but not as memorable and more likely to be skipped.

With that said, I find Please Deceive Me to be one of the more interesting albums I have listened to this year. It is even more impressive being that it is the work of a single man, who is obviously filled with talent and a passion for his craft. The future of music lies in people like Daniel, who create their art unhindered by the corporate machine, and I encourage you to check it out and support Autumns Eyes.

Killing Songs :
Ichabod, Blood in the Woods, So Close To Shadow, and Haunting Your Daughter
Cory quoted 82 / 100
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